Food charities brave coronavirus outbreak to feed South Florida’s most vulnerable

MIAMI (WSVN) - Ark of the City has collaborated with Farm Share to hold a drive-thru food distribution drive for residents of Miami who are most in need of food to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in South Florida so does the number of people in need of assistance.

Gladys Covington, one of the people who received food, said she cannot find the necessary groceries anywhere she goes.

“You have to do what you have to do,” Covington said. “There is no food in the stores.”

Much of the elderly in South Florida are trying to stay home because of fears of possibly contracting the virus.

“We’re more likely to get it than younger people,” said one food drive recipient.

That’s why the team over at Ark of the City partnered with Food Share to set up a drive-thru food distribution site.

“Our families need help,” Ark of the City volunteer Terry Elliot said. “We’re not going to let the people in the inner city go hungry. We cannot do it.”

A view from 7SkyForce HD showed the long line of cars stretching around the distribution site on Northwest Second Avenue and Northwest 62nd Street.

During this unprecedented time, as businesses close and many South Floridians lose their jobs, the community is stepping up to help.

“A lot of people are not working,” Farm Share volunteer John Delgado said. “There’s no paycheck. The money that they have now, they have to hold it because they don’t know what’s going to happen a week from now.”

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers loaded up cars full of protein, canned goods, bread, milk and even pet food — all while maintaining social distancing and practicing good hygiene.

Volunteers with the Boys & Girls Clubs spent their Wednesday afternoon passing out food to nearly 200 families.

A team with Curley’s House took donations directly to the elderly, the group most affected by the virus.

“It’s not safe for them to be out, so that’s why we are here today to distribute this food to them,” a volunteer said.

For the foreseeable future, the Overtown Youth Center has partnered with Deliver Lean to distribute free meals at Gibson Park on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

NBA legend Alonzo Mourning, the youth center’s founder, said the organization needs people to step up to help in this time of need.

“We got enough people in our communities that have the ability to help,” he said. “We just got to come together and figure out the best way possible that we can do that.”

In Fort Lauderdale, Feeding South Florida, Jack and Jill’s Children Center and the Salvation Army teamed up for a massive free food distribution.

The boxes and bags of groceries went a long way for families in need.

7News cameras captured a long line of vehicles on Broward Boulevard, and 350 families in all drove away with free food during this tough time.

While there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, people 7News spoke with were certainly appreciative.

“Very thankful, very, very thankful,” a food drive recipient said.

The food drive will run until 1 p.m. or until food supplies run out.

Volunteers have said they plan to hold the same drive every Wednesday for the next few weeks.

Farm Share will be hosting another drive-thru distribution at the Golden Glades Interchange’s east lot starting at 10 a.m., Thursday.

Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.